The city of El Paso's Animal Services department offers people advice on how to keep their pets safe over the winter.
The city of El Paso's Animal Services department is advising residents to keep their pets safe throughout the winter months.
Animal Services had received more than 200 reports in December, according to officials, for pets left outside without shelter and other winter-related events, as of Wednesday.
Officials advise pet owners to:
• Provide a warm location for pets to sleep and rest: If at all possible, bring them inside. Pets can be housed in a garage or a laundry room. If you must leave a pet outside, ensure that it has a decent shelter with four walls, a roof, and is located away from drafts. Provide dry blankets and rotate them on a regular basis to keep them dry.
• Recognize that some pets may require additional protection: Senior pets, pups, and canines with shorter coats may require additional protection from high temperatures. Take them for shorter outdoor walks to limit their time away from their shelter. Extra insulation, such as a sweater, pet socks, or shoes, can also be added.
• Clean up vehicle spills: Many drivers check and fill their cars with antifreeze, which can cause significant renal failure in dogs. Clean up any spills from your vehicle thoroughly to avoid pet deaths. Also, if you fear your pet has taken antifreeze, get immediate medical attention.
• Tap your car hood: Cats in the neighborhood seek warmth in engine compartments, with many sleeping under hoods at night. Before starting your vehicle, beat on the top of your hood or honk your horn to help prevent an accident.
• Keep wildlife at bay: Some animals, such as coyotes, are active year-round. Coyotes and other wildlife may explore neighborhoods in search of food during the winter months when food is limited. Pet bowls with food and water should be picked up because they can attract wildlife.